Class Instructors

Course and Name

Course Description


Patti Gillespie
  • Ferreting out the documents in Wise County, Texas
  • Charming recalcitrant keepers of the records
  • Practicing public patience with patrons and public servants
  • Expressing gratitude in the moment and later
  • Communicating briefly and effectively when asking for help
  • Donating the compilation my original, document-oriented research to various local repositories
  • Research trips to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, West Virginia, California and Texas
  • Birth, death & marriage records, court records, cemetery records, burial & funeral home records, newspapers, military and naturalization records
  • Researching, preparing, and documenting an African American genealogical record back to 1860
  • Researching, preparing, and documenting a genealogical record that included a strong maternal Southern line from Texas back to Georgia and a paternal line from Illinois to Prussia
  • Researching, preparing, and documenting a genealogical record that took him back to Germany
  • Researching, preparing, and documenting back to Scotland in the early 1700s
  • Providing dates, places, and documentation to those I run across in family trees who lack what I have been blessed to find.
  • RAOGK searches for local marriage certificates, taking trips to cemeteries for photos, and searching local sources for others
  • Wise County Historical Society searches for those who wrote in with research questions


  • Selected Participant in the National Archives at Fort Worth Citizen Archivist Program
  • Wise County Genealogical Society (WCGS), Founding Member, President, 2013-2016
  • Chairman of Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Virtual Professional Management Conference (VPMC), 2015
  • Wise County Historical Society, Secretary, 2013-2016
  • Board Member of the Wise County Historical Commission, 2013-2016
  • Volunteer for FamilySearch at the State Fair of Texas, 2013
  • Instructor: Genealogical Research 101 (a six-week lecture and hands-on course designed to instruct beginners in research and documentation; I taught this course twice a year at the Decatur, TX Public Library).
  • Prepared and donated an index of Will Book 1(1818-1840) in 2011 to be used in place of the original by the Circuit Court of Lawrence County, Illinois
Stacie Briggs
Course Description for
Source Citation
What are primary and secondary sources.
Making sure this is my relative.
What else is out there.
I have been doing family history for 14 years. I am a member of the Denton County Genealogical Society, Texas State Genealogical Society, Gann Historical Society and Library, I am a worker at the Denton Family History Center, and I volunteer for Find A Grave. I am familiar with Family Search, Ancestry, Find A Grave, WikiTree, My Heritage, Family Tree, and History Geo. I have done my DNA with Ancestry, Family Tree, My Heritage, GED Match, and 23andMe.

Personal names I research: George, Barr, Griffin, Bailey, Huffman, Shockey/Schacke, Johnson, Brownlow, Bolen, Pickens, Smith, Markum, Clover, Hilliard, Dickey, Jordan, and Massingill.

Stacie Briggs
Course Description for
DNA What Test are Available
Side by side comparison of what each company offers.
Stacie Ann George/Briggs was born in Denton, Texas in 1967. Stacie grew up in the Aubrey and Denton areas. She graduated from Denton High School in 1985.  She is the mother of 3 daughters and 2 sons. Her love for Family History started about 12 years ago. Stacie is a volunteer for Find A Grave and keeps a cemetery kit in her car. She works with Family Search, Ancestry, My Heritage, WikiTree, and Family Tree DNA. She also has done her DNA on Ancestry, My Heritage, Family Tree DNA, and GedMatch
Walta Evans Genealogy Aids on Line:
Tree Seek,
Ling Shot,
Birthdate Calculators,
Photo Editing tools,
Research sites Paid and Free,
Blogs and wikis,
Forums, Societies, and Newsletters,
Bio for Walta Edwina Lefler Evans

Walta Edwina Lefler Evans is a retired elementary teacher/school librarian with 49 years of service. She holds B.S, M.Ed. and MLS degrees from the University of North Texas. She was with the Van Zandt County Library in Canton, Texas, as the part-time professional librarian in charge of children’s programming and genealogy. She was a school librarian in Texas and in Arizona on both the Navajo and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservations and taught for Navajo Community College (now Dine College).

Her interest in family history and genealogy began early with stories from family members from Jersey, Channel Islands, and continued in her teens when she went to her first paternal family reunion in Michigan. She has traveled to many locations: libraries, courthouses, Archives of Ontario in Canada, and cemeteries, doing the leg work to gather her family history and that of her husband and friends. She has acquired skills in research and technology which have helped her in both genealogical pursuits and in contacting distant relatives in the United States, Canada, England, Australia and France. She is currently working in the Archives of France online.

She has presented at the Denton County Genealogical Society and at Family History Day activities in Denton. She is an active member of DCGS, The Virtual Genealogical Society, Jersey Heritage, several social media sites, Ancestry, My Heritage, Geneanet and Family Search/Family Tree.

Walta Evans Syllabus for Memories Presentation


What is a Memory?

What to preserve?


Where and How to Gather

Who gathers

Types of Memories

Their Preservation

Their Worth

Donna Spears

Donna Spears got serious about genealogy in 2009 after she retired from her 20-year career as a technical writer. In 2013 Donna and her husband, Joe, visited a small, abandoned family graveyard in South Dallas where they found the 1866 gravestone of Donna’s 3x great grandfather. The journey that followed included an uncooperative surrounding land owner, the Texas Historical Commission, an attorney, a lawsuit, a retracement surveyor and more as they successfully fought to keep a parking lot from being built on the ancestors’ cemetery. When the Court asked Donna to prove she was a descendant of the family interred in the cemetery, she did just that.

A graduate of Denton High School and TWU, Donna serves as Chair of the Lineage Research Committee of the Benjamin Lyon Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

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